The H5-200 water hyacinth machine is vindicated

We hired an experienced water hyacinth machine expert called Mr. Yakubu to evaluate the overall situation of our H5-200 water hyacinth machine. Mr. Yakubu is a machine operator and trainer from Nigeria, and he was recommended to us by the Aquamarine, which is the manufacturer of the machine. The intention of this evaluation was for subsequent decisions including to provide training to the operators. The training was considered because we suspected that the major issue with the machine is maloperation.

Mr. Yakubu started his duty by evaluating how our operators are working with the machine, which was pretty much his first-day duty. His reporting showed that there were indeed operational lapses. The operators were pushing the weed rather than harvesting it. Moreover, they were running the machine at its maximum engine power, which was creating high pressure and vibration that hampered the machine’s efficiency as well as cause it to consume more fuel. Mr. Yakubu showed that the machine can work in a heavily infested area, and its engine power is sufficient to its carrying capacity, which is 5.7 m3.

Once Mr. Yakubu identified that the machine is capable to work in Lake Tana, his next tasks were training the operators splitting them into pairs. This allowed him to fix operational lapses with little or no resistance. Using the word of our partners in the Regional Environment Office and the operators, the training was an “eye-opening” for them. We are hopeful that the Region’s Environment Office will put this machine in duty on a daily basis to fight the weed, as well as the operators, continue to excel their skills. Otherwise, all our efforts will go into the vein.

We would like to inform our community that there are actors who view water hyacinth as a business opportunity. This is an unfortunate fact to endure. They have been defaming this machine and our efforts to serve their business desires. They were successful even to disguise us. Somehow we played our part in creating a fertile environment for these people. This is because the operators were not sufficiently trained (or couldn’t absorb the training we provided them when the machine was deployed in May 2018). That happened because Aquamarine couldn’t be able to send their experts due to the then state of emergency situation in Ethiopia.

We are happy that our community pressed us and responsible authorities to act up to the challenges of the water hyacinth on Lake Tana. The October 29th, 2018 mass demonstration across the Amhara region was exemplary, but it stops there. It should continue until we see concrete results. Our message is let’s stand for Tana consistently, and consciously!